Source: Canadian Beef Breeds Council
Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) has invested $640,000 in a collaborative research project with the Canadian Beef Improvement Network (CBIN) to springboard the development of a unified, standardized, and producer-accessible beef cattle genetics data platform.
Through this platform, CBIN will provide commercial cattle producers and the entire beef production chain with access to critical data that will help better inform genetic decisions and improve environmental and economic sustainability.
“Genetic data is essential to ensuring Alberta beef continues to be known worldwide for being the best. This project is a prime example of the innovation Alberta is known for, with industry groups working together to find new opportunities and new markets for their producers. I’m interested in seeing how this project benefits our ranchers and the province as a whole.”
Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
To date, eight Canadian beef cattle breed associations have committed to participate in the development of CBIN under the leadership of the Canadian Beef Breeds Council. This data-driven platform will benefit Canadian cattle producers directly. CBIN will give producers access to on-farm, on-demand genetic information to improve herd quality and inform marketing and genetic selection decisions.
Genetic data has value as a change agent. Today, genetic information is available to help producers make essential breeding decisions on fertility, growth, feed efficiency, disposition, calving ease, and carcass measures, to name a few. However, the beef industry underutilizes genetic data, and significant opportunities for producers to optimize their herd genetics are missed. By utilizing the CBIN platform to inform genetics decisions, producers will realize substantial benefits by capturing environmental efficiencies, improving animal and herd health and management, and validating product quality.
The collaborative framework of CBIN’s genetic advancements and technological innovations will be vitally important for the whole Canadian beef industry.
“Data-driven genetic decisions and adoption of innovative genetic technologies will benefit all segments of the Canadian beef production chain from conception right through to consumption. Genetics has the potential to create benefits across the board, in the areas including, but not limited to, production efficiencies, environmental sustainability, animal health and welfare, food security and food product outcomes.” David Sibbald, President, Canadian Beef Breeds Council & Chair, Canadian Beef Improvement Network
This project is unique as it seeks to bring an innovative solution to an existing gap in data capture, standardization, and digitalization in beef production. By adopting new genetic technologies and increasing genetic data literacy, Canadian beef producers will be better able to interpret the genetic data of their herds. By using data to inform breeding decisions, producers will improve economic efficiencies and reduce their environmental footprint.
“Alberta produces some of the best beef in the world. To help our industry expand markets and compete globally, there needs to be an improvement in producers’ genetic literacy and the use of genomics within our beef industry. By understanding and sharing the linkages of beef genetic data, along with other production metrics, we will see increased profitability and competitiveness in our industry.” Clinton Dobson, RDAR Director of Research
RDAR is proud to support this research project. The work will drive the integration and adoption of genetic innovations, standardizing genetic data capture and simplifying data access, assisting Canadian beef producers in making better decisions.
RDAR’s funding contributions – of which $576,000.00 comes from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) – are valued at $640,000 over 18 months.
To learn more about RDAR research projects, please visit rdar.ca/research
About the Canadian Agricultural Partnership
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors. This commitment includes $2 billion for programs cost-shared by the federal and provincial/territorial governments, with the programs designed and delivered by provinces and territories.
RDAR is a not-for-profit organization that will continually consult with Alberta’s crop and livestock producers to set research priorities and distribute funds. Its mandate is: to support results driven agriculture research priorities and programs that will increase the competitiveness and profitability of Alberta’s agriculture industry. Arm’s length from the provincial government, RDAR is funded by two sources: The Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada, and Alberta’s Government through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program. rdar.ca
The Canadian Beef Improvement Network is a collaborative network established to increase genetic data utilization, validate genetic influence, and drive market signals to create value within the Canadian beef industry. Members and advisors include: Canadian Beef Breeds Council; Canadian Cattlemen’s Association; 8 Canadian Breed Associations; National Cattle Feeder’s Association; Cargill; McDonald’s; Beef Cattle Research Council; Lactanet Canada; and AgSights